Prosecutors decide whether to bring a case or drop charges against a defendant; charge a misdemeanor or a felony; demand a prison sentence or accept probation. Most cases are resolved through plea bargains, where prosecutors, not judges, negotiate whether and for how long a defendant goes to prison. And prosecutors make these judgments almost entirely outside public scrutiny."
Jeffrey Toobin, “The Milwaukee Experiment”
The New Yorker
May 11, 2015
The Reflective Democracy Campaign works to increase the power of women and people of color in American public life through groundbreaking research, engaging communications, and catalytic grantmaking. The campaign raises awareness of the racial and gender imbalance of our political system, demonstrates the policy impact of that imbalance, and seeks to address the structural barriers that prevent us from achieving a reflective democracy.
In October 2014 the campaign launched Who Leads Us? with research revealing the race and gender of 42,000 elected office holders in the U.S. from the President down to the county level (available at WhoLeads.Us). Using that data set, we created the National Representation Index, an interactive tool that calculates the level to which white men hold greater power than other groups in each state. The campaign also conducted a national opinion survey that showed that a bi-partisan majority of the electorate supports measures to bring more women and people of color into political leadership. In June 2015, the campaign announced the Reflective Democracy Innovators, awarding grants to eight organizations and individuals on the front lines of addressing the structural barriers that perpetuate the unbalanced representation of our political system.
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